My First School Meeting

I won't lie, I have been up nearly 45 minutes stressing about our first "school meeting" already. I am worried I won't know what to say or I won't understand what they are offering. I am worried I will make a mistake in getting the right services for my child. I don't want to be a bull in a china shop requesting too much but I do want to make sure that my child has the best services for her own needs. With a toddler that is special needs though its sometimes hard to assess what those needs are. Just last night as a friend came to pick up his daughters, I watched as she engaged, made eye contact and giggled. I live for those moments and I want more of them. How do I put that into words when making a request for services for my child? Can that even be part of the "plan"? I already have so much paperwork that I have had to start a pendafile to carry with me to meetings and appointments. I wonder how I can give her what she needs without forgetting what the others need too?

I want what is best for her. Period. Sadly, that is going to school this fall but I am sending her kicking and screaming on the inside. I want her home with me. I wish I could request all her services be done in my home. I wish I could shelter her and protect her from everything on the outside. One reason I think this is harder is because she "looks normal". Its the constant comment we get regarding her appearance and when her appearance doesn't align with what others expect, there is a moment when I watch others faces fall and wonder how I can best help them understand. Can that be part of the "plan"? Education for all those around her? To accept her as the child she is, turning away, covering her face, shying from those who judge?

Anyone who knows me knows that traditional school has been hard for me. Period. I have flip flopped  my older kids left and right because I have second guessed my actions as a mom. I have wondered if I am giving them what they need? Spiritually? Socially? Academically? And yes, for me, academics is last on the list because honestly, once you have that college degree, no one cares what your education is, just that you are willing to work hard and make a difference in your career. So for me, traditional school isn't what feels good or right. I have always wanted my kids home but now, the older four are somewhere that I love the teachers and many of the families and I am hopeful I will have the same feeling regarding Seraphina's school too. Can that be part of my "plan"? That the teachers and the staff work hard to develop her spiritually, socially and then academically? Can it be that they allow me to fall in love with them and want her to be in their classes year after year?

I know today's meeting isn't about setting up a plan with what I want but more for what she needs. I just wonder how I can convey what that is as her advocate without throwing my own ideals and goals in there too?

I had no idea how hard this would be as a parent. I never had those nights of "lost" sleep worrying about my kids until now. I am finally getting it. A new chapter is being written and I am trying to take it all in. I am trying to put my faith in God and I am trying to hold tight to what it is this challenge is providing me. I am also trying to be the best mom I can possibly be and I am hopeful that my first school meeting with calm some of those fears and anxieties and next year when I look back I will laugh at the silliness of my fear.


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